Q: What are my rights as a property owner? how do I evict someone who refuses to leave my propery?
I let a friend stay on my property in a tent on a temporary basis. I live on this property also, in a mobile home. There was never any contract so to speak, and he doesnt pay rent. Winter came and I allowed him to stay in a gutted out schoolbus that had a woodstove in it so that he wouldnt freeze. He bought home a puppy that is now a huge rottie, and I informed him immediately the dog was not welcome. The dog has since then bitten my son, myself, and a visitor, and most recently attacked me a second time and the wound is substantial. However the dog attacked by his command, he was drunk and being obnoxious since early that morning. I told him he had outworn his welcome, and the dog was definately not welcome, what if he bites someone else on my property? Who gets in trouble then? He said I have to take him to court to make him leave, what are my options? I have told him many many times I didnt want the dog on my property.
Thank you for your time. Sincerely.
A: If the dog bit anyone, you should report that to your local county animal control. If the dog bit at the command of a human, you should report that to your local police or sheriff. As to getting rid of him, you need to review everything with a local landlord-tenant attorney. IF you can establish a landlord-tenant relationship between you (and its legal definition is broader than you may think), depending upon the facts, you may be in a position to serve the person with a 24 hr written notice of termination and then file in court to have them evicted. IF you do not have a landlord-tenant relationship, then you are likely going to have to file in court to eject him instead of evicting him. Ejectment and Eviction are similar in their goals - get the person out, with the Sheriff's assistance if necessary - but how you get there legally is very different with ejectment normally taking longer and costing more than eviction. Neither, however, are do-it-yourself projects if you expect to win. Review everything with a local landlord-tenant attorney to determine how to best proceed. And yes, if the dog bites someone again without your having actively done something to try to have it removed, you might be sued. You also should check your homeowner's insurance policy to see if you coverage in that event. More and more insurance companies are limiting or totally excluding coverage for dog bites. Good luck.
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